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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Abdominal binders may reduce pain and improve physical function after major abdominal surgery - a systematic review

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INTRODUCTION: Evidence for the effect of post-operative abdominal binders on post-operative pain, seroma formation, physical function, pulmonary function and increased intra-abdominal pressure among patients after surgery remains largely un-investigated.

METHODS: A systematic review was conducted. The PubMed, EMBASE and Cochrane databases were searched for studies on the use of abdominal binders after abdominal surgery or abdominoplasty. All types of clinical studies were included. Two independent assessors evaluated the scientific quality of the studies. The primary outcomes were pain, seroma formation and physical function.

RESULTS: A total of 50 publications were identified; 42 publications were excluded leaving eight publications counting a total of 578 patients for analysis. Generally, the scientific quality of the studies was poor. Use of abdominal binder revealed a non-significant tendency to reduce seroma formation after laparoscopic ventral herniotomy and a non-significant reduction in pain. Physical function was improved, whereas evidence supports a beneficial effect on psychological distress after open abdominal surgery. Evidence also supports that intra-abdominal pressure increases with the use of abdominal binders. Reduction of pulmonary function during use of abdominal binders has not been revealed.

CONCLUSION: Abdominal binders reduce post-operative psychological distress, but their effect on post-operative pain after laparotomy and seroma formation after ventral hernia repair remains unclear. Due to the sparse evidence and poor quality of the literature, solid conclusions may be difficult to make, and procedure-specific, high-quality randomised clinical trials are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDanish Medical Bulletin (Online)
Volume61
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)A4941
ISSN1603-9629
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014

ID: 44841940